I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! James is home between semesters, and I do so love having him around.
Christmas is a very special time of year for me, and I love it all. The lights, the music (well, okay, some of the music), the tv specials, the excuse to bake cookies, and to decorate the house as early in the year as I can feasibly talk my family into allowing. With James not arriving home until December 22, I had the perfect excuse to put up the trees a few days BEFORE Thanksgiving so we could do it as a family, rather than a hurried slap-together on Christmas Eve.
Most of you already know I started my business, Smiling Otter Studio, earlier this fall, and that the business takes up a good portion of the main floor of the house, so the trees are upstairs in the loft this year. Here's the family tree. Minimally decorated this time around, there are pine cones, beaded icicles, white brass snowflakes and turned wood birdhouses made by our neighbor Brad. Grandma's quilt hangs over the railing behind it.
This is James' birthday tree. I always love his birthday trees. He's so creative and fun with his themes. This year, there are Beanie-baby-sized stuffed animals with an Alaskan theme all over the tree - from the otter angel on top to the beaver gnawing the trunk of the tree and the eagle carrying off a fish. Too bad they don't show up better in this pic because it was so adorable.
Around the house, I got to use a lot more of my vintage items, some from my collection and some from my brother's. In the kitchen, a thrift store fiber optic tree in Dan's metal bucket, and M&Ms in his chick feeder look great. The bread box houses Jim's chickens' breakfast items, and the tin on top of it holds egg shells waiting to be made into calcium supplement to be fed back to the chickens.
And yes, those are bottle caps decorating the tree.
Another $1 thrift store bargain is the top of what was once a large artificial tree, but now is a mini tree in my brother's Karo Syrup bucket, decorated with vintage ornaments from Jim's grandparents. Copper cookie cutters given to me by my best friend hang in the kitchen window behind it.
I love decorating the Hoosier cabinet. The teddy bear and horse toys on top were Jim's childhood toys. I was trying to get a Christmas morning vibe going on here...
... Coffee and syrup and fresh eggs for Christmas breakfast, crayons with Scotch tape and tiny scissors for last-minute wrapping, and the preciously tiny egg beater and pastry crimper suggest there might be pie after dinner. The birthday balloons are in honor of James' birthday.
Speaking of James, here he is modeling his cross fox hat that I made him for Christmas. Flaps up:
We've had snow off and on this month and the temperatures here at the house have been down into the teens below. A bit too cold to want to go out and play in, but not so cold that it keeps us from doing anything we want to do. The guys successfully got Moya to pull them in a sled, and have had the snow machines out for a ride on the lake. The snow is too deep for the kicksleds unless we play with them on little-used roads in the neighborhood, so going for a sled ride on the lake is probably out of the question unless we get some more winds to blow some of the snow off. It's been a good Christmas break so far, and I expect the rest of the break will be just as lovely.
Sending you all echoes of Christmas contentment and best wishes for a fabulous New Year!